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December 1983

Sleep Apnea: From the Needles of Dionysius to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure

Author Affiliations

From the Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg.

Arch Intern Med. 1983;143(12):2301-2303. doi:10.1001/archinte.1983.00350120095020

• It is generally believed that the first description of the sleep apnea syndrome was made by Charles Dickens in the Pickwick Papers and that the first medical description was published in 1956. In fact, some of the features of the sleep apnea syndrome were described in antiquity and brief medical reports were published prior to the Pickwick Papers. This article traces the literary and medical contributions to our understanding of sleep apnea.

(Arch Intern Med 1983;143:2301-2303)